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Thread: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

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    Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    I have a Hayward H-Series draft induced spa heaster, 100K BTUs, natural gas model H100ID1. The heat exchanger failed. The heater is 7 years old. Should I replace the heat exchanger and thermostat myself to the tune of around $500, or replace the whole heater for about $1000?

    I do have one other odd option. The failure point is where the thermostat enters the heat exchanger pipe. It is a dry well normally. However, water now shoots out of it. I could seal the thermostat bulb into the hole using some kind of permanent putty, and the heat exchanger will continue to work, though not sure for how long. I might get 1 or two more years out of it, or I might get 5 days. It wouldn't cost me hardly anything to try, and since the heat exchanger is already shot, I have nothing to lose (if I replace the whole unit -- I could lose the thermostat). I was going to use this super epoxy plumbing putty that hardens into a metal like material which a plumber recommended to me. Also, I don't know what will fail first, the heat exchanger or the putty. If the putty fails, I risk water leaving the system and the pump running dry -- 7 year old nosy 2 speed pump which leaks water and probably also about to fail.

    Another thought, similar to the above: Partially fill the dry well with the putty, or something, since the new thermostat is smaller, and then just clip the thermostat to the heat exchanger (as the instructions state). That might close it up and the thermostat would stay dry. What would I fill it with?

    Anyway, any thoughts?

    Link to the spa heater manual:
    http://shop.bluehaven.com/downloads/HE1801_manual.pdf
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    I wouldn't invest $500 in that heater. I have a thing against the H-Series. If your experiment doesn't hold, consider spending a few bucks more on a more efficient, less failure prone unit. I'm a big fan of the Pentair Mastertemp, which is basically the same as a Sta Rite Max Therm. For the price they are as efficient as you can get and they are very durable. We've got lots of them in my area but I probably only work on one or two in the average season.

    The smallest one you can get is 250k BTU and runs a little over $1000.

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    Re: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    I'll not comment on the brand selection, but I will say the Pentair heater product line is excellent. I agree that replacement of the heat exchanger on a 7-year old heater is not as good an option as a new, warrantied heater. Besides, the failed heat exchanger is only one of the things that are destined to fail over time.
    http://www.swimmingpool.com/

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

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    Re: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    Ok, I'll try to patch it since I have nothing to lose. Is the pentair heater something I could order and install myself or should I hire someone to do it. Also, I live in Atlanta, and have yet to have a pool person service my pool. Do you have any recommendations? Can you provide me a link to the best place to order the heater, or at least a link to the heater you are describing?
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    After a quick look this is the best price I can find on it. Be sure to match your fuel type. As for installation, of course you'll have to follow all local codes as to whether or not you can connect a gas appliance yourself. You'd have to plumb the gas line and run power to the new unit.

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    Re: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    That is awesome, thanks for the link to the actual item. I agree, it's only $300 more, and this hayward just seems poor. Anyway, I found this putty epoxy used by plumbers, and filled the dry well the thermostat bulb goes in. That took care of the leak so far, but I lost my little hole for the thermostat bulb. So I clipped it onto the outside of the copper pipe, and it seems to pick up the temperature ok. It's cycling a bit more often then it used to, and I have to run the setting hotter. So far, so good, we'll see if this putty epoxy I got at home depot holds up to the heat and water. Thus stuffy you mush between your fingers, and then pack it in. It's hard in 15 minutes, cures in 24 hours. I gave it a week, and it hardens into steel. Nothing to lose, so we'll see if I get another year out of that old heater.
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    How did you end up attaching the thermostat probe? Some insulation on the backside of it will help the cycling if you haven't already done so.

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    Re: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    I used this metal thingy that has a screw and you tighten the screw and it tightens around the pipe. I had a cycling problem, like you said, and used insulation around it to solve that.

    Unfortunately, the corrosion in the exchanger was not limited to that one area and enough water flooded the exchanger so that it could no longer ignite the gas. Now it doesn't work at all, and it leaks out a little.

    Looks like I'm buying a new one.

    Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but the water geniuses are all here. Should I stick with gas or go with electric (heat pump)? I pay like $40 a month just for the privilage of having gas, and since all my other home equipment is around 10 year old (water heater, HVAC), it's time to replace it. I'm thinking of going all electric. Electric is regulated, unlike gas, and I'm wondering if it is more efficient these days. Then again, maybe it's cheaper to stick with gas, even if the price goes up 50%. I just don't know.
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Hayward spa gas heater in trouble

    A heat pump is much more efficient than a gas heater. You generally pay way more up front, but much less to operate a heat pump. However, there are exceptions. In much of California, and a few other places, electric rates are extremely high and gas can sometimes be cheaper.

    For direct resistance heating, as opposed to heat pumps, gas is still less expensive than electric nearly everywhere, at least for now. Nearly all water heaters use direct resistance heating, though heat pump water heaters are just starting to appear.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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